HugTrain confirmed this week that it will partner with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to further the cause of mental health support and awareness as part of its first ever rail journey across Canada.
Launching from Montreal, QC on November 24th, HugTrain’s 5th annual HugTour will include Canadian dates for the first time ever. Heading out to Halifax, then turning west toward Vancouver, stopping in Ottawa, Toronto and Jasper along the way, with a finale in Winnipeg on December 12th, distributing hugs, raising funds and awareness for mental health and challenging perspectives on vulnerability. A more detailed itinerary can be found below.
Many Canadians find this time of year difficult to deal with due to a range of factors including shorter days causing a vitamin D deficiency and idealistic situations presented in holiday advertising and entertainment reminding people of what they don’t have and the financial strain of the holidays.
To fill the gap, HugTrain has crisscrossed the US by train during the holiday season since 2009 to deliver hugs to people on the train, at the station and in the cities it passes through. This year, after many requests from Canadians, HugTrain will be touring Canada for the first time ever!
Using the web and social media, HugTrain not only advertises its presence but also finds people along the route who are having a hard time dealing with this stressful period and offers them support in the form of a hug or someone to talk to.
“Hugs are a very simple but very rich form of communication – you don’t have to explain why you need one and it doesn’t have to be formulated in a specific way to be helpful but studies have shown that hugs help improve mental health” says Arié Moyal, founder of HugTrain.
Over the years, the HugTour has touched many people and encountered many unexpected moments like doing jigsaw puzzles in the dark in the middle of Utah, a spontaneous sing-a-long in the Rockies, a lesson in hugging from a hotel bartender in Atlanta, appreciation from psychiatric nurses on the streets of Manhattan and a conductor borrowing the Free Hugs sign to greet passengers as the train pulled into the station and during boarding.
Arié Moyal is available for interviews by phone and email now and until departure and in person as the schedule allows.
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WATCH HugTrain arrives in Halifax!
11/24 Depart Montreal 6:45 PM
11/25 Arrive Halifax 5:18 PM
11/26 Depart Halifax 12:20 PM
11/27 Layover Montreal 9:15 AM
Arrive Ottawa 2:41 PM
11/28 Depart Ottawa 12:30 PM
Arrive Toronto 5:08 PM
11/29 Full day in Toronto
11/30 Depart Toronto 10:00 PM
12/02 Stop Winnipeg 8:00 AM to noon
12/03 Stop Jasper 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
12/04 Arrive Vancouver 9:42 AM
12/10 Depart Vancouver 8:30 PM
12/11 Stop Jasper 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
12/12 Stop Saskatoon 8:45 AM to 9:10 AM
12/12 Arrive Winnipeg 8:30 PM
Founded in 2009 by Arié Moyal HugTrain’s mission is to offer a different perspective on the world by distributing and facilitating the exchange of hugs and mental health support by using technology to connect with people online and offline.
Contact Name: Arié Moyal
Website: http://hugtrain.org â€¨
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), founded in 1918, is one of the oldest voluntary organizations in Canada. Each year, they help more than 100,000 Canadians through the combined efforts of more than 10,000 volunteers and staff across Canada in over 120 communities to develop the personal tools to lead meaningful and productive lives.